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The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (Latin : Supremum Tribunal Signaturae Apostolicae) is the highest judicial authority in the Catholic Church (apart from the pope himself, who as supreme ecclesiastical judge is the final point of appeal for any ecclesiastical judgment).  In addition, it oversees the administration of justice in the church. 
Since 8 November 2014, the prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura has been Cardinal Dominique Mamberti.  Its secretary since 26 January 2022 has been Bishop elect Andrea Ripa. 
The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura is housed in the Italian Renaissance-era Palazzo della Cancelleria in Rome, Italy, which also is the headquarters and meeting place of the Roman Catholic Church's other two Tribunals. The Apostolic Signatura only hears appeals from these two tribunals (which normally have final and universal [worldwide Church] appellate jurisdiction over their respective areas of competence) if some process was in error or there is an inter-agency conflict, and usually not in regard to the judgment which was made or the merits of the case. The two other Tribunals located there are the Sacred Roman Rota (which is normally the final appellate tribunal of the church for most court cases, especially regarding marriage nullity, decisions of bishops, and ecclesiastical trials and disciplinary procedures), and the Apostolic Penitentiary (which is normally the final appellate tribunal regarding all matters having to do with the forgiveness of sins and the proper celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation).
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The Roman Rota is the ordinary appellate tribunal of the Apostolic See.   The Signatura's competence covers:
Apart from these judicial matters, the Signatura has the competence as an administrative tribunal to deal with controversies over administrative decisions made by or approved by dicasteries of the Roman Curia if it is contended that the decision violated some law, either in the decision-making process or in the procedure used. It can also deal with administrative controversies referred to it by the Pope or those departments, and with conflicts of competence between the departments.  
A third field of competence for the Signatura is that of overseeing all the tribunals of the Catholic Church, with power to extend the competence (jurisdiction) of tribunals, grant dispensations from procedural laws, establish inter diocesan tribunals, and discipline canonical advocates.  
The Apostolic Signatura is also the final court of cassation in the civil legal system of Vatican City State.  According to Vatican City State Law CCCLI issued on 16 March 2020,  its competence includes appeals concerning legal procedure and judicial competence.  According to a 2008 law issued by Pope Benedict XVI, the civil legal system of Vatican City State recognizes canon law as its first source of norms and first principle of interpretation.  Pope Francis has stated that principles of canon law are essential to the interpretation and application of the laws of Vatican City State. 
In the thirteenth century the Popes made use of "referendarii" to investigate and prepare the signing – hence the name signatura – of petitions and other cases presented to the Holy See. Pope Eugene IV entrusted these referendaries with authority to sign certain petitions and thereby established a permanent office for this purpose. Under Popes Alexander VI, Sixtus IV and Julius II this office was divided into two, the Signatura gratiae for examining petitions for favours, and the Signatura iustitiae for contentious cases. The honourable office of referendary came to be conferred frequently as a merely honorary title, but Pope Sixtus V put a limit on their number, and Pope Alexander VII combined the limited number of voting referendaries into a college, assisted by the simple referendaries, who had only a consultative position. The Signatura gratiae gradually lost its functions to other bodies, and the growth of the work of the Roman Rota, the foundation of the Congregations of Cardinals resulted in the Signatura iustitiae becoming mainly a Supreme Court of the Papal States.[ citation needed ]
On 29 June 1908, Pope Pius X reestablished a single Apostolic Signatura consisting of six cardinals, one of whom acted as its prefect. On 28 June 1915, Pope Benedict XV reconstituted the college of the voting referendaries and simple referendaries with consultative functions and the 1917 Code of Canon Law removed the limitation of the number of cardinals members of this Supreme Tribunal.[ citation needed ]
The present competence of the Apostolic Signatura is that laid down in the apostolic constitution Pastor Bonus of 28 June 1988.  
On 16 March 2020, Pope Francis issued a new Vatican City civil law which makes the Apostolic Signatura itself the final court of cassation for Vatican City State  and provides for greater independence of judicial bodies and magistrates dependent on the Pope.  It also specifies the requirements for the appointment of judges and it simplifies the judicial system while increasing the staff of the court.  Prior to that, the Cardinal Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura had served ex officio as the President of the Supreme Court of Vatican City (Corte di Cassazione). The two other members of the Supreme Court were also Cardinals of the Apostolic Signatura and were chosen by the Cardinal Prefect on a yearly basis. 
The Roman Curia comprises the administrative institutions of the Holy See and the central body through which the affairs of the Roman Catholic Church are conducted. The Roman Curia is the institution which the Roman Pontiff ordinarily makes use of in the exercise of his supreme pastoral office and universal mission in the world. It is at the service of the Pope, successor of Peter, and of the Bishops, successors of the Apostles, according to the modalities that are proper to the nature of each one, fulfilling their function with an evangelical spirit, working for the good and at the service of communion, unity and edification of the Universal Church and attending to the demands of the world in which the Church is called to fulfill its mission.
The politics of Vatican City take place in a framework of a theocratic absolute elective monarchy, in which the Pope, religiously speaking, the leader of the Catholic Church and Bishop of Rome, exercises ex officio supreme legislative, executive, and judicial power over the Vatican City, a rare case of non-hereditary monarchy.
Carlo Mario Francesco Pompedda was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura for the Roman Curia. He spent nearly fifty years in a variety of posts within the Catholic Church's ecclesiastical court system, from 1955 to 2004.
The Dicastery for the Eastern Churches, previously named Congregation for the Oriental Churches or Congregation for the Eastern Churches, is a dicastery of the Roman Curia responsible for contact with the Eastern Catholic churches for the sake of assisting their development and protecting their rights. It also maintains whole and entire in the one Catholic Church the heritage and canon law of the various Eastern Catholic traditions. It has exclusive authority over the following regions: Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, southern Albania and Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Syria, Jordan and Turkey, and also oversees jurisdictions based in Romania, Southern Italy, Hungary, India and Ukraine.
The Roman Rota, formally the Apostolic Tribunal of the Roman Rota, and anciently the Apostolic Court of Audience, is the highest appellate tribunal of the Catholic Church, with respect to both Latin-rite members and the Eastern-rite members and is the highest ecclesiastical court constituted by the Holy See related to judicial trials conducted in the Catholic Church. An appeal may be had to the pope himself, who is the supreme ecclesiastical judge. The Catholic Church has a complete legal system, which is the oldest in the West still in use. The court is named Rota (wheel) because the judges, called auditors, originally met in a round room to hear cases. The Rota was established in the 13th century.
Doctor of Canon Law is the doctoral-level terminal degree in the studies of canon law of the Roman Catholic Church. It can also be an honorary degree awarded by Anglican colleges. It may also be abbreviated ICD or dr.iur.can., ICDr, DCL, DCnl, DDC, or DCanL. A doctor of both laws is a JUD or UJD.
Agostino Vallini is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church. He has been a cardinal since 2006. From 2008 to 2017 he served as Vicar General of Rome. He is also the Archpriest emeritus of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran.
Dominique François Joseph Mamberti is the Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in the Roman Curia. He was elevated to the rank of cardinal by Pope Francis in 2015.
The Dicastery for Legislative Texts, formerly named Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, is a dicastery of the Roman Curia. It is distinct from the highest tribunal or court in the Church, which is the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and does not have law-making authority to the degree the Pope and the Holy See's tribunals do. Its charge is the interpretation of existing canon laws, and it works closely with the Signatura and the other Tribunals and the Pope. Like the Signatura and the other two final appellate Tribunals, the Roman Rota and the Apostolic Penitentiary, it is led by a prefect who is a bishop or archbishop.
Francesco Roberti was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in the Roman Curia from 1959 to 1969, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1958. He was also known for his work in moral theology.
Massimo Massimi was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura in the Roman Curia from 1946 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1935.
Dino Staffa was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 1967 until his death, and was elevated to the cardinalate in 1967.
Aurelio Sabattani JUD was an Italian cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Prefect of the Apostolic Signatura from 1967 until his death and was elevated to the rank of cardinal in 1983.
Giuseppe Casoria was an Italian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church who served as Prefect of the Congregation for Sacraments and Divine Worship from 1981 to 1984, and elevated to the cardinalate in 1983.
Giuseppe Versaldi is an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church who the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education from 2015 under that body was merged into the new Dicastery for Culture and Education in 2022. He served as president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 2011 to 2015. Before that he was Bishop of Alessandria. Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to the rank of cardinal on 18 February 2012.
The law of Vatican City State consists of many forms, the most important of which is the canon law of the Catholic Church. The organs of state are governed by the Fundamental Law of Vatican City State. The Code of Penal Procedure governs tribunals and the Lateran Treaty governs relations with the Italian Republic.
Giuseppe Sciacca is the current Secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura since his appointment by Pope Francis on July 16, 2016, replacing the retiring Archbishop Frans Daneels. Previously, he had served as Adjunct Secretary of the Apostolic Signatura, since Saturday, 24 August 2013. Previously, he had been serving as the Secretary General of the Governatorate of Vatican City State since his appointment by Benedict XVI on 3 September 2011.
Pietro Marini was a Catholic cardinal.
Edward Neal Peters is an American Roman Catholic canonist and serves as a referendary of the Apostolic Signatura. He is professor of canon law at the Sacred Heart Major Seminary of the Archdiocese of Detroit.
Dignitas connubii is an instruction issued by the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts on 25 January 2005 on the discipline to be observed in diocesan and interdiocesan tribunals regarding causes of the nullity of marriage. It was compiled in close concert with dicasteries that have a related competence, namely, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota. It was partially obrogated by the matrimonial nullity trial reforms of Pope Francis in 2015, but remains in effect.